Celebrations on first anniversary of double transplant for St Neots man

Sanjay Mistry,

Sanjay Mistry shares his journey with a kidney transplant - Credit: Chris Albas-Martin

June 4 was a special day for a St Neots man who celebrated the first anniversary of his double kidney and pancreas transplant.

Sanjay Mistry, 43,underwent the double transplant during the height of the pandemic at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, in Cambridge.. 

Sanjay was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease (CKD) four years ago after he started to feel unwell and contacted his GP.

He said. “I explained to the doctor that I had swollen legs and some fatigue and was told I would continue to be monitored, but there was nothing immediately to be concerned about, but I would probably need a kidney transplant in the next five or 10 years." 

The news shocked Sanjay and his young family, but he said the shock was lessened by the timescale. 

As time went on Sanjay’s kidney function deteriorated and and he was referred to the transplant unit at Addenbrooke’s Hospital for assessments.

Sanjay and his family 

Sanjay and his family - Credit: Chris Albas-Martin

Sanjay said: “I had the option of having a simultaneous pancreas and kidney transplant (SPK), or just a kidney transplant.  

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“I decided that the best option was to have an SPK – though this was a much longer operation and the recovery would be longer too.”  

Sanjay was admitted to the transplant register but at the same time his eGFR continued to drop, meaning that he would need to have dialysis treatment in order to make the transplant. 

Sanjay said: “I started dialysis at the end of January 2019 and chose to have peritoneal dialysis as which I could do from home.  

After just a few months on dialysis, Sanjay received a call asking him to go to Addenbrooke's. 

Sanjay said: “A doctor arrived and went through some questions and then I had a number of blood tests. 

Sanjay then went in for his operation and after waiting almost 24 hours, he was woken and told the organ was not viable and he could go home. 

Sanjay said: “The emotional rollercoaster of the that last 24 hours was something I had never experienced in my life. 

Fast forward to July 3 2020, Addenbrooke’s called to say there was another match.  

Sanjay refused to get his hopes up, but ventured to the hospital with the expectation that he would be back home in the morning. But this time was different. 

Sanjay said: “This was in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic, so admittance to the ward was not allowed until after a Covid test.  

“The medics carried out other tests while they waited for the result of the test. 

“I was admitted to the ward and at around 9pm they told me the operation was going ahead.  

“I was frozen. I couldn’t think, talk or even comprehend exactly what was going to happen. 

“Covid made it that more difficult as I was there on my own with no family for support.” 

Sanjay was taken to the operating theatre shortly before midnight and came to 10 hours later, to be told that his SPK transplant was a success. 

However, this was to be short-lived. 

“Although my new kidney and pancreas were working well, I had a number of complications during my recovery. 

“Firstly, I had blockage, so they opened my up to clean it out.  A few days later I had an internal bleed, so they opened me up again to fix it.  

“This was scary as the doctors told me I’d lost so much blood that I was close to not making it.” 

After spending six weeks in isolation in hospital, Sanjay was discharged and was able to continue his recovery at home and he thanks both his family and the NHS for helping him to regain his health. 

“I could not have got through this without the amazing, selfless and utterly brilliant NHS.  

“The dedication and support they showed me, helping me get fit again, supporting my mental health and even just chatting with me will never be forgotten. I will always be in their debt. 

“My wife, mother-in-law and children gave me enormous amounts of support, help and love and they deserve a special mention.” 

More information about kidney disease can be found at www.kidney.org.uk